iOS app Android app

Leslie Irish Evans
GET UPDATES FROM Leslie Irish Evans
Lifestyle blogger, author of Peeling Mom Off the Ceiling: Reclaiming Your Life From Your Kids

Entries by Leslie Irish Evans

Caitlyn Jenner and My Reptilian Brain

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 6:02 PM

Caitlyn Jenner's speech at last night's ESPY awards was great. If you haven't seen it yet, here's a link. Go ahead and watch it. I'll wait.

Simple, elegant, and eloquent. People are different. To hate and condemn merely for being different is wrong. And yet, the haters still hate. I posted a supportive image from the event on my Facebook page last night and got some snide replies.

How easy is it to throw shade online? How easy is it to dismiss what we don't like or understand with a casually hateful or even bitingly witty remark? I'll tell you how easy. It's really, really easy. I know this because I've done it plenty of times. I thought I was being clever. What I was being was lazy.

When we toss off a flip comment about something serious, we're avoiding having to do the hard work of thinking and feeling and questioning. Of course, Facebook is made for this sort of behavior. (Yes, this is both another Caitlyn Jenner post and another post about my conflicted relationship with Facebook. Deal with it.) So, people who condemn this woman, I have the following question: Are you condemning her because she makes you uncomfortable? I get it. Honestly, I do. I think Caitlyn Jenner is a beautiful woman, and when she comes out looking like a million bucks in that Atelier Versace dress, and then opens her mouth and sounds very much like a man my little reptilian brain goes That's weird. I don't like that. It wants the beautiful woman I see on TV to have a beautiful womanly voice. But my little reptilian brain also tells me that:

  • every odd noise I hear at night is a serial killer coming to get me
  • every stray image fluttering in my peripheral vision is something I must fight or flee
  • I should eat all the ice cream because I might never see it again

In short, my little reptilian brain is an a**hole and I don't always have to agree with it. Maybe you shouldn't always agree with yours, either. It means well. It's trying to protect you. But it's often just wrong. Maybe a beautiful woman with a man's voice isn't really a threat and maybe after you see it enough you'll realize that and your little reptilian brain can go back to more mundane things like making you jump every time you see the knot in your wood floor that still isn't a spider.


I've also seen many people claiming they don't have a problem with Caitlyn's being transgender, but they don't think she should have been given the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage award when "there are so many others who have done more courageous things." *  In my understanding getting an award doesn't necessarily mean you were chosen as tops among all other world contenders. It means that the award givers wish to acknowledge your particular contribution. And as far as courage, I think Caitlyn Jenner definitely shows it. Just look at the unpleasant messages being hurled her way on my tiny little Facebook page. She is doing exactly what she says in her speech, she's going out there and taking the flak so that others won't have to.

We're living in historic times, as far as LGBTQ issues and rights go. It thrills me to see the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice. Slowly, but surely, I think we're getting to a world that is more loving and accepting of the widely and wildly diverse examples of the human experience. And I think brave people like Caitlyn Jenner are helping us get there.

This, to be honest, makes me raise an eyebrow, because I have a strong feeling that it's just people attempting to hide their transphobia under a convenient excuse. But I acknowledge that that's not necessarily fair.

An earlier version of this post originally appeared at

Read Post

Parenthood Is Hard and Scary

(1) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 4:50 PM

Parenthood is hard and scary.

There, I said it. Clutching your pearls yet? Shall I get the smelling salts? Or are you already nodding your head in agreement?

About twenty years ago, I was a brand-new mother. Looking back, most of my memories are a blur of sleepless nights,...

Read Post

Keeping the Pillow Talk Light

(359) Comments | Posted September 15, 2012 | 3:34 PM

My husband is an extrovert.

I am an introvert.

I could just leave it at that and let you imagine what sort of hijinks have ensued, but I'll help you out: We've been married for 23 years. Together for 27. We've figured out a way to make it work. But...

Read Post

Spider vs. Jedi (Episode 1)

(1) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 5:46 PM

Son reported to me this morning that Daughter is asleep on the couch in the upstairs TV room. This is unusual, but not particularly worrisome. "She just groaned when I walked in the room," he said. (Definitely not unusual.)

So I hop online and check Facebook. There, her status fills...

Read Post

Getting a Massage: Dos and Don'ts

(158) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 9:17 AM

On your way to your massage appointment? Maybe you've been given a certificate for massage as a gift? (Lucky you!) As a licensed massage practitioner (and an ardent massage customer for years before that), I've lived both sides of the massage transaction. Here are some pointers for getting the most...

Read Post

Ray Bradbury Did Not Die Today

(19) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 2:27 PM

Ray Bradbury has not died. Not really.

I'm reminded of a lot of things today, including foremost Joni Mitchell's line:

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?

I'm feeling that way about Ray Bradbury right...

Read Post

5 Reasons 'My Kids Are My Whole Life' is a Stupid Thing to Say

(46) Comments | Posted June 1, 2012 | 4:45 PM

Here are five reasons you should think before you say, "my kids are my whole life."

1. It reinforces "mommy martyrdom"

Webster's defines a martyr as "a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of principle." "Mommy Martyrs No More" is my...

Read Post

To My Husband On Our 23rd Wedding Anniversary

(16) Comments | Posted June 1, 2012 | 2:10 PM

I've unpacked our wedding album. Remember? The one we spent all that money on back in 1989, choosing only the very best pictures from the hundreds that were taken, and having them printed up as 8 x 10s? The one we cherished for...

Read Post